Christian Master’s in Higher Education | Geneva College

MA Graduate Program

Higher Education

Cultivate a vision for higher education that is rooted in a Christian view of life in a program that examines the contexts of its theological, philosophical, historical, and sociological foundations

A Foundational Approach to Learning and Building Capacity for Professional Practice.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Higher Education degree at Geneva prepares students to approach learning and working in higher education from a foundation that is grounded in biblical truth, the integration of faith and learning, a comprehensive examination of professional standards, research, interdisciplinarity, and scholarship, and love for the diverse spectrum of God’s kingdom and creation.

Through an interdisciplinary graduate curriculum and contextualized learning experiences led by supportive faculty and staff, you will learn the fundamentals of how to be a discerning professional in the field of higher education.

Discover the vision that redefines learning and work in higher education...

Watch Video

View Full Video

Master of Arts in Higher Education Program

Learn more about the Master's in Higher Education at Geneva College.

Program Overview for the Master's Degree in Higher Education

Students in Class

The Master of Arts in Higher Education program at Geneva College offers a foundational approach to learning about higher education and building capacity for professional practice in the field that is grounded in the following:

The Word of God and a Christian view of life and the universe

Students in the Master of Arts in Higher Education program are taught from the perspective that students in the program and others with whom they work are image bearers of the Creator. This informs both what and how we teach and learn. The goal is that our students would view their professional practice with people and view the institutions of higher learning where they work as spheres of God’s redemptive activity.

The integration of faith and learning

We approach learning and our professional practice with college students and colleagues with a deep sense of humility, thoughtfulness, and curiosity. We integrate faith with learning so that our thinking about higher education is filled with meaning and purpose. We acknowledge that it is by faith that we ultimately gain true knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of how we can fully participate in God’s call for our careers and work in higher education.

"An understanding of God, mankind, and the universe in their inter-relatedness" (Foundational Concepts, 1967)

In the MA in Higher Education program, we aim to inspire future higher education professionals to become competent, creative, and purposeful generalists in their profession. This helps to expand the possible reach and impact of our professional practice in the field.

At the same time, program curriculum is design to provide depth of knowledge and meaningful experience in specific areas within higher education. We require all students to participate in Contextualized Learning experiences while in the program. This can be fulfilled by graduate assistantships on campus or at partnering institutions, through the professional practice of those already employed in higher education and enrolled in the Institute model, or through other internships. Contextualized learning enhances scholarly knowledge and practical professional skills in particular areas of higher education.

Professional standards and best practices, grounded on research and scholarship

Obtaining your master’s degree in higher education means engaging in research-based professional practices, informed by the works of respected scholars from Christian and public colleges and universities. Students will be shaped into thoughtful practitioners, competent educators, and skilled leaders, knowledgeable in a breadth of theories and practices that inform the work of higher education and the student affairs profession.


Students in the program will examine research and scholarship from many disciplines beyond the academy, including theology, philosophy, sociology, history, human and organizational development, and more. The curriculum also encourages students to think of the relationships that higher education has with other societal agencies (e.g. church, family, media, government, etc.)

The development of wisdom

The Master of Arts in Higher Education program aims to train professionals who can discern and implement what is good, right, and true for higher education. Students will learn how to understand and respond to changing dynamics in the higher education landscape from biblical wisdom and faith in Christ Jesus.

Rightly ordered affections

Our hope is that students in the MA in Higher Education program learn to seek God and His word first, and to love the diversity that God has brought to being in the lives of people and institutions. Students will be equipped for lifelong missions of serving God and neighbor.

Read More

Obtaining your master’s degree in Higher Education means you earn the tools needed to educate, lead, consult, or create valuable information in the field of higher education. With a curriculum grounded in the Reformed tradition of the Christian faith, a MA in Higher Education allows you to explore new heights of success under the guidance of faculty who consider the implications of this perspective on work in colleges and universities.

Throughout our 36-credit master's program, you’ll discover how to:

  • Articulate the relevance and application of a Christian view of life to the study and practice of higher education.
  • Understand the contours of contemporary higher education within the contexts of its theological, philosophical, historical, and sociological foundations.
  • Advocate and model a holistic approach to the person in higher education settings, with a particular emphasis on college students’ success in and out of the classroom.
  • Develop beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, and skills that reflect a professional identity rooted in Christian vocations.
  • Effectively communicate, in writing and in speaking, the results of an exploration of a specific topic within the field of higher education.

To meet the MA in Higher Education’s requirement of 600 hours of related field experience, students can pick which learning format works best for them. Enrolling in the Cohort Model means students graduate within two years, while students enrolled in the Institute Model — made for working professionals — may graduate at or after two years.

Our 36-credit program can be pursued in three different formats:

Cohort Model

Cohort students—often those serving as graduate assistants—typically take three on-campus classes each semester, attending weekly classes on Tuesday evenings, in addition to a Thursday evening class their first semester and one institute course in a later semester.

Institute Model

The institute model is designed with working professionals in mind. Students in this low residency model take one-week, on-campus courses in the summers and take online courses during the academic year.

Self-Directed Studies

This part-time model offers students the opportunity to complete the degree by choosing courses at their own pace as they are offered, until all program requirements are fulfilled within a maximum of seven years.

Graduate Assistantships

The Master’s in Higher Education requires students who enroll in the Cohort Model to engage in a graduate assistantship or practicum experience. Graduate assistantships are normally nine-month positions requiring a minimum of 20 hours a week and are generally renewable for a second year.

Students with graduate assistantships are paid a monthly stipend and receive one-third reduction in program tuition while they are employed as a graduate assistant.

Only students who have completed applications for the MA in Higher Education Program will be considered for these positions. While there is no application deadline, students are encouraged to apply by March 15 to be considered for all GA positions. Later applicants may have fewer graduate assistantship opportunities.

On campus interviews will be held March - May. For more info email

Students may apply for multiple positions.


The second way to meet the requirement of the Cohort Model is through a 150-hour practicum experience. While the practicum is an unpaid position, students will still receive a reduction in tuition. The practicum is an excellent opportunity for M.A. in Higher Education students who have outside employment, as this model only requires four units of practicum (each lasting one semester). Each practicum experience is equivalent to 150 hours and students are only required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week.

Both the assistantship and practicum programs occur in a variety of professional settings: campus ministry, career services, student activities and programming, residence life, assessment, learning support, teaching assistant, coaching, etc.

Discover the Vision...

Grounded in central ideas that direct how we approach learning and work in higher education, our vision and aim is to develop perceptive and principled leaders who strengthen the college or university environment.

Your Career Possibilities

Earning your Master’s in Higher Education opens up new doors of possibilities within the workplace. Whether you decide to pursue higher education teaching, other student-facing roles, or want to expand into administrative positions, a graduate degree in higher education allows you to take on leadership, research, or consulting roles in the world of education within the following work settings:

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Affairs
  • Administrative Leadership
  • Admissions
  • Alumni Relations
  • Assessment
  • Athletics
  • Campus Ministry
  • Career Services
  • Coaching
  • College Teaching
  • Distance Education
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Enrollment Management
  • Financial Aid
  • Institutional Advancement
  • Institutional Affairs
  • International Student Affairs
  • Leadership Development
  • Marketing
  • Policy Planning
  • Program Management
  • Residence Life
  • Service Learning
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Activities
  • Study Abroad
  • Student Government

For students with unique scheduling needs, we work with you to ensure that you can fulfill all program requirements through both models with an extended timeframe. Please feel free to discuss your situation with us.

Students Considering the MAHE Grad Program

Explore MAHE (4+1.5 Program)

Juniors and seniors at Geneva College have the opportunity to take up to three courses in our Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) program. This program allows undergraduate students, prospective MAHE students, to explore the field of higher education and determine if the program fits their vocational calling. Undergraduate students who apply and are accepted into the Explore MAHE program can earn academic credits for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Those continuing on to pursue graduate studies at Geneva benefit from saving up to a quarter of the time and cost of tuition toward a Master's in Higher Education degree.

Apply Now

Experienced & Accomplished Faculty

Tell Me More

Discover more about our Master's in Higher Education program

Complete the following information to connect with an admissions counselor.

Judy Willson
Director of Graduate and Online Admissions

Talk to a member of our enrollment team

Connect in person or virtually and discover the depth of the Geneva Graduate Programs. We offer flexible visit options that accomodate your schedule.

Schedule a Call / View Events

Take the next step...

There is a place for you at Geneva College.

Apply Today